Families

Balancing Act: ‘Hey, sorry! My turn to reschedule!’ When working parents try to meet for lunch

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Lunch?

Hi, Beth! Our mutual friend, Lauren, suggested I reach out to set up lunch one day soon. It sounds as if our work dovetails in all sorts of interesting ways, and I'd love to discuss it further over salads one day soon!

–Heidi

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Lunch!

Hi, Heidi! Lauren mentioned that she talked to you. Lunch would be great! I'm traveling for business until April 23, but how about April 24 or 25?

–Beth

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Lunch!

I have a training session on how not to infect our companywide email system with malware on April 24, but the 25th works great! How about that new woman-owned tapas place in the West Loop at noon? (I don't know why I said salad. I actually hate salad.)

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Lunch!

See you then! #tapas

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

I'm so sorry, but my daughter has strep, so I'm working from home and need to reschedule today's woman-owned tapas lunch! Can you do next Tuesday? So sorry!

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

No problem! My son had strep last week. I can't do next Tuesday because we have a companywide retreat at the new ax-throwing place in Fulton Market. I would skip it, but I missed the companywide ropes-course retreat last month. (It was career day at my daughter's school, and I volunteered to talk to seventh-graders all day.) Anyway, my supervisor is all about cultivating a collegial, non-risk-averse company culture, so I'm afraid I need to get to this one to meet my core competencies goal for Q2. Next Friday?

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Ax-throwing sounds amazing, actually! I can't do next Friday because we have a staff meeting that day at noon. Look to the following week?

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Wow! A staff meeting at noon on a Friday? That's not cultivating a collegial company culture! Lol!

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Lol! Actually I have therapy that day. I just thought "staff meeting" sounded better since we don't know each other.

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Therapy

Do you like your therapist? Is she/he taking new clients?

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Therapy

She's the best. Truly. Like, a life-saver. (Too much? We still haven't met! Lol!) But seriously. If you want me to pass along her contact ...

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Therapy

Let's discuss over lunch. How's May 2?

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: May 2

Done! Just sent you an outlook invite. Off to file this story before I duck out to chaperone a fourth-grade field trip!

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

My turn to reschedule! Our regional manager is in town, so we have an all-hands-on-deck today. Tomorrow, there's a lunch at my daughter's school to discuss next year's Washington, D.C., trip. (Who schedules a lunch meeting for parents?!?!) How about May 8?

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Parent-teacher conferences. May 9?

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Moderating a panel on the post-#MeToo workplace. May 10?

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Back-to-back interviews in Homer Glen. May 13?

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Oof. I took that day off to take my mom to the doctor.

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

This is crazy! But it's making me feel less crazy! I thought I was the only one who literally never meets people for lunch.

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Can I tell you a secret? I haven't met someone for lunch in three years. Our mutual friend, Lauren? I've never met her. We've emailed for, like, nine months now trying to set up lunch. Finally, she was like, "Look, the only thing I wanted to say over lunch is that you should have lunch with my friend Heidi. Why don't you guys just take it from here."

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Laughing at "my friend Heidi" because I've never met Lauren either! We've been trying to meet for coffee since 2017.

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

I feel seen.

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Rescheduling lunch

Do you want to join my book club? We only meet four times a year. Sometimes I Skype in. But I'm actually going to next month's meeting. (I hope! Lol!) It's May 24 at my friend Stephanie's place in Rogers Park.

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Book club

Maybe! What are you reading?

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Book club

"Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits – to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life" by Gretchen Rubin. We've been reading it since 2015.

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Book club

OMG, my husband bought that for me three Christmases ago! Is it good?

To: Beth

From: Heidi

Subject: Book club

Oh, I have no idea. I am hoping to read it this weekend while my son takes the pre-entrance exam to get accepted into the test-prep class for the high school entrance exam. I heard that takes a while.

To: Heidi

From: Beth

Subject: Book club

My daughter is taking that this weekend. Do you want to duck out and get lunch from the woman-owned tapas place in the West Loop?

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